Berlin-based IQONIC.AI (previously SQIN), an AI company, announced on Friday, November 10, that it has secured a seven-figure seed financing round from Brandenburg Kapital, YZR Capital and Arve Capital.
Other existing investors such as Accel, APX (the early-stage investor backed by Axel Springer and Porsche), Thomas Hayo, Michael Schummert and Jens Apermann, also participated in the round.
The German company says it will use the funds to expand its AI models in areas such as hair analysis and health and to open up new markets. The company is also planning to accelerate sales in the USA.
With the latest capital injection, the company wants to further establish itself there after acquiring its first existing customer. Just a few months after the pre-seed financing, the startup was already profitable.
Martin Pentenrieder, founder of IQONIC.AI, says, “For example, we offer an analysis of hair type and density. We are thus entering another billion-euro market: in 2023, sales in the hair care sector in Germany alone will amount to around €3.06 billion. But this is just the beginning: in the future, we will be tapping into other related business areas. These include, in particular, the health aspect.”
The announcement comes a few weeks after collaborating with Fit & Alive Cosmetics, a Turkish cosmetics brand.
IQONIC.AI: Smart solutions for beauty, hair & health
Founded by Martin Pentenrieder and Maria-Liisa Bruckert, IQONIC.AI provides software solutions for brands and retailers offering hair, skin, and nutritional supplements.
The company’s software uses AI algorithms to scan the skin and hair and suggest custom-made products suitable for an individual user.
It helps to reduce the number of trial-and-error purchases, and promotes sustainability in the industry in the long run.
Additionally, the software can recognise potential health issues and recommend that users seek advice from a doctor, making it an innovative approach to preventive healthcare.
Earlier this year, the company rebranded itself from SQIN to IQONCIC.AI.
“The name change was an important step for us. The name SQIN was too focused on the topic of skin – but that is no longer our sole focus. In addition, our business model has changed massively. We no longer just use our algorithms in our applications, but offer them as a SaaS solution,” explains Maria-Liisa Bruckert. Almost six months after the pre-seed financing, the company was already in the black with customers from various markets.
Brandenburg Kapital, the VC arm of ILB, has supported local companies since 1993 through equity investments.
The public VC firm provides startups and SMEs in Brandenburg with a strong equity base through experienced lead investment and active partnership in a stable corporate environment..
A fund of approximately €100M is currently available to support startups in the early-stage and growth phases. The Brandenburg Kapital fund was established by the Brandenburg Ministry of Economic Affairs.
It is currently financed through resources from the European Regional Development Fund and ILB’s funds.
Through ILB’s investment activities, 264 companies have so far been supported on their growth path with around €305M In addition, private investors have so far invested around €690M in the companies.